Friday, August 26, 2016

Welcome Back to School! 5th grade Here We Come!

Wow!!! Did I really just say that? 5th grade? Can it be? Yep!! This kiddo is in 5th grade this year.

We started our new school year last week so this is kind of a late first week wrap-up. But hey, better late than not at all, right? So here's what our year looks like this year.

Science:
Apologia Physics and Chemistry - this one is really exciting for me. I've always loved Apologia but this new set is even more fun. It's two different topics that I've generally enjoyed in my past science experience. And who doesn't love lots of experiments? If you do then Apologia has them all for you too. This is a fun new book that we are super excited to dive in.

Math:
Singapore math -5A and 5B. This is kind of a change for us. We have been doing Math Mammoth for the past few years and enjoyed it. I was kind of looking for an actual textbook in our hand type of deal this year though. We are changing up some of the way we do things and so this just fits in with us better for now.

Reading:
We are reading all sorts of things so this will be something new every time.



Grammar/Spelling:
We are working on a couple of workbooks to get our spelling and grammar in this year.

Other classes:
We are of course keeping up with drama/theater this fall. We also have science classes going on starting back up next month at our local science center. These are two that Boo Bear looks forward to every semester.

We also have added in a co-op of sorts. My parents have since relocated nearer to us and so they have volunteered to do a science/math/reading co-op deal for us and a few of our homeschool friends. We had our first meeting this past week and the kiddos were well worn out and had a great time.

We've also already hit our first field trip this year to the local science museum. They always have a free day for homeschoolers and we love visiting. I also opted this year to get the yearly pass, not sure why I haven't before but this year is a totally new year. There will be lots of museums on our field trip list this year.

So we've had a successful, busy couple of weeks getting back into our school routine. Have you started yet or do you have a plan to start soon? What is your week looking like?

Happy New School Year!!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Enlivenze LLC Tyrannosaurus Rex FlipStir Puzzle Review

FlipStir Puzzles Reviews
Recently we received the exciting and fun Enlivenze LLC Tyrannosaurus Rex FlipStir puzzle. This was so much fun and one of our favorite reviews this year. 
If you're a puzzle lover, like we are, then this is a new twist on the puzzle. You can choose from a variety of different topics such as the T-rex like we did or the solar system, Statue of Liberty and more. 
These puzzles are unique and fun to play with offering entertainment to all who play with them. 
What we received:
We received the Tyrannosaurus Rex FlipStir puzzle for our review. This is not your everyday puzzle. This product is a self contained puzzle adding a level of interesting fun to the whole experience. 
FlipStir Puzzles Reviews

This puzzle contains a wand inside the container to help you manipulate the pieces in the right order. We had a blast playing with this 3D puzzle that is unlike any other one we've tried. The pieces are all mixed up and it's your job to create the picture in the right order. 

How it works:
The FlipStir item is meant to be shaken up to mix the pieces all around. Then you use the wand to move pieces or "stir" them around to get them in the right order. There are ten pieces of the puzzle to put together in the right order. The bottom one is the label and then as you work your way up the T-rex himself shows up. 

My son had a blast trying to figure this 3D puzzle out. I have to be honest, Daddy got this one faster than me or the kiddo. He has a knack for puzzles and had it figured out in five minutes or less. For me and Boo Bear, it took a little longer. It is fun and unique and a great way to take puzzles or toys on the road. This can easily be tossed in a bag to go with you on a plane, car rides, or other adventures to make sure that you have something to keep everyone occupied with.

What we thought:
We gave this toy two thumbs up! This was a fun review to work our brains and concentration even if school isn't in session. We simply shake up the puzzle, stir it around and solve it! It's really a great addition to add to any puzzle lovers collection. These would make a great Christmas or birthday gift as well. These are great to get the brain thinking and working or for a fun downtime activity. There are many different scenes and puzzles to choose from so you can work on them throughout your week. They are also perfect to keep for busy day activities or just because you want to work a puzzle. There's no messy clean up and are great for traveling and field trip times in the car. 

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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

"Can Anything Good Come Out of Nazareth?"

I've been studying in John recently and something struck me that has hung around for a bit. In John 1 you are learning about John's experience with Jesus. This chapter has some of my very favorite verses in it and I like to read it a lot. This time, something stuck out very plainly that has had me puzzling over the idea for a few weeks now. It comes in verse 46 where Jesus was wanting to go to Galilee and he went and found Phillip. He told Phillip to follow him and he did. Phillip then goes to Nathaniel and tells him about Jesus of Nazareth.

Here's where it sticks out... Nathaniel looks at Phillip and says, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?"

Umm.. wow. Think about that for a minute. I can imagine in my mind Phillip coming up to Nathaniel and Nathaniel making a face at him and asking, really? You think something good can come from that area? Maybe he was thinking to himself, are you talking about the same Nazareth I'm talking about?

You know that feeling. You've all been there or had it at one time or another. Maybe it's been something you've thought about someone or some place, or maybe you have had it thought about you. Perhaps you feel that nothing good can come from your past. Nothing in the present can be good or lovely from the life you've lived. The things that have happened to you could never amount to anything worth something.

That's where you're wrong. See, I did some research on Nazareth. Do you know what it means? I found a couple translations but they all lead to the same. The word Nazareth means, "to flower, shoot or sprout". Another meaning is to "keep guard or stand watch". Nazareth was not a well known location by any means. It had a very small population and when you went there it was full of gentiles, farmers, not the type of people you might associate with the King of Kings.

So when Nathaniel heard this, he honestly asked the question, what good can come from there? What good can come from a city that has people living there that do not hold the religious morals that his town did?

Perhaps you're thinking that yourself. What good can come from my past? What good can come from my hurt, pain, bitterness, life of feeling worthless? Let me tell you. Something amazing can come from all of that. Something wonderful and glorious.

If you read on some more you'll find that Jesus started talking to Nathaniel and Nathaniel believed  right there. Jesus said that before Phillip had told Nathaniel to come with him that Jesus saw him by the fig tree. That amazed Nathaniel and right then he believed. Jesus also went on to tell him he would see much greater things than these.

My pastor talked this past week about your divine purpose in Christ. He also talked about your past being stepping stones to your future. This just reiterated what I kept hearing in this scripture. As you look back on your past you may find you don't really come from what you'd consider a "good" city. You may not have a past of joy and happiness. You may find your past is dotted with trials, heartaches, tough times, and bad decisions.

The good news? That isn't your future. Jesus came from Nazareth where people were not religious and they didn't have a glamourous past. They didn't have money and power. They were simple people who were not well known. They weren't a big deal to write back home about, if you catch my drift.

BUT.. The Savior who was coming to save the world came from there. He came not in blazing fury but in love, peace, forgiveness. He came to save us from our past and give us an amazing future of blessings and life with Him.

So if you look back at your past and feel like you're not worth it, you're not someone that Jesus cares about or that you couldn't be saved... please think again. Jesus came just for you. Don't look back and be overwhelmed by the past that tries to weigh you down. Look forward to the future that God has prepared for you. Good can come from the things you've been through.

Sorry this is a little longwinded but it's one of those that's been on my heart and just gotta get it out there. Be blessed and remember, your past is not your future!!!



Cave Tools Multipurpose Grill Rack Review

So if you've hung around here for any length of time you know that we are a grilling family. I've done several reviews for Cave Tools amazing grilling utensils and here comes another one! Enter the new Multipurpose Stainless Steel Grill Rack for all your ribs, roasts, and whatever else you can think of that you might want to sit on the grill.






This great tool for grilling offers you two new ways to use the rack. You can use it for cooking a number of meats that you're ready to tackle such as turkeys, whole chickens, rack of ribs and so much more. The uniquely spaced bars allow you to get a true convection cooking style to ensure your meats are cooked to the right temperature.

Purchase Here!
This fantastic addition to your grilling arsenal allows you to cook a variety of delicious recipes on the grill, whether you want to slow cook them or speed up the cooking time. It fits great on any of the popular grills on the market from your regular charcoal grill to the new ceramic grills you can buy. You can put the meat you plan on smoking on the rack and then prepare for delicious food to come your way. With the purchase of the rack, you also gain access to a variety of different recipes to try out on your new stainless steel design.

One of the best things about the rack is that it is so easy to clean up. You can stick in the dishwasher and forget it! You also earn a lifetime guarantee on the rack so if for some reason you're not satisfied, you'll get your money back.

This rack is a great addition to any grillers kitchen and makes for an easy way to get all your favorite meats on the family table. The very strong and sturdy design makes it easy to handle any size ribs, turkeys, or whatever you might be putting on the grill.

Purchase your rack by clicking here and use the coupon code: LRJMNT3A for 15% off your purchase..
Be sure to let me know how you love your rib rack when you purchase one! Also special thanks to Cave Tools for this amazing opportunity.



Wednesday, August 3, 2016

CTCMath: Homeschool Membership Review

CTCMath Review
Recently we received the opportunity to review the CTCMath product called Homeschool Membership. CTC is an online math curriculum that brings the teacher to your home. This program allows your child to freshen up on lessons they aren't sure about or to learn new math skills altogether. This is a great homeschool math program that you can use in your home along with the other math you work on or as the only curriculum, it's up to you.

What We Received:
We received a one year subscription to their homeschool membership program. This program offers access to every single grade level that CTCMath provides so you can use it no matter what level your child is on. Whether you have a child going into middle school math or you have a highschooler heading to Trigonometry, CTCMath has got you covered.

This online program allows you to set up tasks you want your children to focus on each day, it awards them for the progress they've made and also lets you see how much time they've spent and where they are in the process.

The program brings a math teacher into your home everyday and works with your child on getting the lessons until they understand them. You can pause the tutor sessions, rewind them or simply play it multiple times until your child is confident in the skill. The curriculum videos have a teacher talking while they are working out the problems on the whiteboard for your child to see. This helps your child to listen to the teacher and see it worked out at the same time.

How We Used It:
For us, we worked with the curriculum at the point that Boo Bear was in his other math. So I would set up for him to work on certain lessons each day in his 4th grade math. This was finishing up our 4th grade year so there was only a few topics we focused on. The topics that are included range from all types of math functions that your child will know at the end of the year. This is a years worth of curriculum for you to focus on and you can work on lower math levels if you need to or go higher if your child is ready to.

I set up a lesson plan for Boo Bear to follow each day. As he signed in to his screen, he could choose to work on his lessons, play some of the awesome games to help him remember his times tables, or even work on other parts of his 4th grade level.



This made it easy for me to set him up for the week on math lessons and him to tackle his math on his own pace. Sometimes we worked together and other times he would just go in and work on his lessons for the day. I can log in on my end of the program and see what he completed, how long it took him, and what grade he received for the lessons he completed.

What we thought:
We have worked with this curriculum before and this time was no different, we love it! This helps us to go over lessons maybe we didn't quite completely understand or gives us a new approach to shake things up a bit. (Let's face it... sometimes things need to be shaken up). I like that this program can go anywhere we are and that it doesn't take a bunch of books to go on the road. We can grab our tablet or computer and still accomplish math on the way.

Boo Bear really enjoyed the games that are in the program to help him have fun remembering his times tables.

I also like the fact that the kids can get rewards and ribbons for things they accomplish. Whether it's lessons or a benchmark they hit, these ribbons are always nice to sign in and see!


There are multiple levels you can choose for your homeschool math options. You can choose a membership for one child if you just have one student who would like to work with the program, or you can choose the membership for two or more students. You can have all your children working with this fantastic program that brings the math teacher right into your home.

If you have math struggles you can work with the program as well. Use it to refresh your memory before working on lessons with your children or to tackle new and exciting higher math levels. It is all up to you!!

Be sure to click the banner below to see what other Crew Members thought of the program. Also visit CTCMath online at their social media links:

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Friday, July 22, 2016

Heirloom Audio Productions: Beric The Briton Review

Beric The Briton Heirloom Audio Productions  Review

Recently we got the chance to listen to another Heirloom Audio Productions fantastic audio dramas called Beric the Briton. If you've been around here any length of time, you know a favorite of my kiddo's is audio books. I love listening to them when they are full dramas such as Heirloom produces with the great sound effects, stars voicing the characters and all the action packed excitement that leaves you seeing the book played out in your mind. So, when the opportunity came up to review another one of these great stories from the Adventures of G.A. Henty series, we jumped at it!




Beric The Briton Heirloom Audio Productions  Review


What we received:
We received the physical CD set of Beric the Briton for our review. We also received the downloadable bonuses that include an MP3, ebook, poster, study guide and so much more! While we didn't work with the guide this time, yet, they are great bonuses to make this study even more fun and educational. We have listened to the CD set several times already as it has become a staple in the car for us.

You can't tell he's excited about this one at all can you ?




How We Used It:
The audio drama covers two CD's and is an exciting Christian radio theater production that offers excitement, drama, action, and a lesson on relying on God. I love these stories and how they always tie into faith and how God can help them get through any of the dangers they faced.

Beric the Briton was a very brave person who faced the Romans in his battles. You'll learn how he spent time with them, learned battle tactics that would one day help them defeat their enemies, and also how he found Christ. He stood up for his faith against all odds and God won the day and Beric found favor in the eyes of the leaders against him.

This is an exciting and adventurous novel that all kids, and adults, will fall in love with. The story is over two hours long and offers lessons grace, faith, and redemption. As all the other Heirloom Products we've listened to, this one is very well done and makes you feel like you're right there facing the lion with Beric. (I won't give toooo much away).

What We Thought:
As always we loved this audio drama production! The recordings are very high quality and you can literally close your eyes and see the action taking place in the car. You'll hear familiar voices in there such as Brian Blessed, John Rhys-Davies, and Brian Cox. These are designed especially for children from the ages of 6 and up, but I'm sure if you're like me,  you're going to love it no matter how old you are.

These are great to keep in the car and share stories of faith and true Christian heroes with your children as your journey around town or on longer road trips. We keep all our G.A. Henty books in the car with us so we always have something great to listen to.

These audio drama productions make for a great addition to your history curriculum for the year or just for exciting novels to have in your collection. You can utilize the study guide, print out the amazing posters, or just use the MP3 to listen to the story in the house or on the go when you don't have the discs with you.

I highly recommend these CD's to anyone who is looking for adventure and excitement on their next trip to town. These are great additions to help your children learn about faith, standing up for Christ, and the history of the world.

Be sure to check out the other Crew Members adventures and also check out Heirloom Audio Productions on social media with the links and banners below.


Beric The Briton Heirloom Audio Productions  Review

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Monday, July 11, 2016

ArtAchieve : Level 2

Art Lessons for Children ArtAchieve Review
Recently we were able to review a new art curriculum from ArtAchieve. We reviewed the Entire Level II program and were really enjoying this one. It has been quite fun and very interesting to work with. This program is designed for a variety of ages and skill levels. It is a fun online curriculum with your very own art instructor in your home. There are many lessons to choose from and we worked with the Level II program during our review period.
Art Lessons for Children ArtAchieve Review

What we received:
We received access to the entire Level II program of art classes. There are 15 different art lessons in this level and they vary on the lessons and the particular skills that are used. I allowed Boo Bear to pick out his favorite ones to work with first. Of course he picked the animals, not hard to believe there. (he's a total animal lover).

How it works:
One day a week we would work on a lesson from the site. He signed into the ArtAchieve website and picked out a lesson to work on. The lessons give you lists of items you need to gather before working on the project. Typically there were two sheets to print out for him to do practice with during the first part of the lesson before doing the actual drawing of the particular item he chose.

(overlook the messy bed hair and mess around him. He has to have his transformers hang during school)



We worked on a several of the projects including the Japanese Goldfish and the Elephant from Ghana. Here's his Elephant he drew through the program.

This program offers more than just the instruction in art. There are also links included to help you learn more about the art project you're working on. It helps to incorporate social studies, language arts, and even science throughout your art experiences. It is great that it allows you to explore more than just how to draw a certain way or with a specific technique.

There are two ways you can do the program. One is to go through it with PowerPoint slides or you can choose the method we chose, which is to watch the tutorial videos with the instructor.

What we thought:
Boo Bear seemed to really enjoy working with the art curriculum on his own. He'd set up his computer for a lesson and would go through it fairly easily without any extra help. I enjoyed the fact that he could learn not only the techniques for the art itself, but also a little bit of history about the culture from where this idea came from.

This is a great program to do with one or more students and even you might want to get in on the fun. There's also a way to post your student's work and create their own gallery on the site. You can take a look at others works as well which can always be inspiring.

My kiddo definitely got his talent from his daddy and Mama doesn't have any drawing talent. I am glad to work with programs such as this one that allows him to work with his talent he has and push it to the next level.

Another great aspect of the lessons is that you can purchase them individually or you can save and purchase access to all the lessons for one year. There are also easy to find lists of supplies for each level and you'll find three different levels to choose from.

I think you should definitely check out the program for the art lovers in your family or just those who want to add art to their homeschool. Click the social media links below to find out more about the program and the banner below to see the other levels the Crew worked on!

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